Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church has found a temporary home for its services at the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church on Cleveland Avenue in Winston-Salem, its pastor said Sunday.
Bishop Sheldon McCarter, who has led Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian for about 30 years, spoke of the church’s temporary place of worship at its Sunday morning service.
Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church has gone under the name Greater Church in recent years.
McCarter said they have to turn over the keys to the church today by court order after the property was bought at a foreclosure sale last week. The church expects to be at the new location next Sunday.
But, his message to church members was one of hope, as he told them this is not goodbye.
“We have a temporary interruption,” he said.
He asked people to turn to the person next to them to let them know that they would be back.
McCarter thanked members for their prayers and love.
He said he still has faith and trust in God that things will work out.
“My faith is not shattered,” McCarter said.
People applauded when he told them why his faith wasn’t shattered.
“It ain’t over yet,” he said.
He asked people to remember the things they have gone through in life and how God helped them.
Throughout the service, members clapped and raised their hands in praise to show their support for their pastor, especially at the end of his sermon that focused on Psalm 27:1.
Often the words “We’re with you bishop,” and “Love you” could be heard in the sanctuary. Several people spoke of the good he had done in their lives and the lives of others.
On June 6, Judge Catharine Aron ruled in a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro that the church, at its request, be allowed to stay in the sanctuary through today.
Apex Bank bought the church property June 3 at a foreclosure sale that resulted from Aron’s ruling on May 22 that the church could not afford to stay on the property.
The property consists of a church sanctuary and family life center on 15 acres.
The church, which owed Apex Bank a debt that had accumulated to $3.5 million, failed to abide by its Chapter 11 reorganization plan that called for the church to either refinance or leave the property by April 30.
Phillip Sasser, the attorney for the church, said in bankruptcy court Thursday that the church had hoped for new financing.
Greater Church is one of the oldest African American churches in Winston-Salem. It has been in its sanctuary on Lansing Drive since 1999.